Q: What is TAC?
A: TAC stands for Tiger Authentication Committee; a group of inspectors using inspection criteria developed by STOA to authenticate a Tiger body shell as being original (i.e. produced on the Jensen assembly line).
Q: Why did STOA develop TAC?
A: Long-time STOA members had seen a number of Alpine "conversions" over the years, and became aware that certain members of our fraternity were in the business of constructing these vehicles for financial gain. Eventually, we discovered that one of our members had purchased one of these conversions, and had spent considerable time and money on the car before finding out about it's origin. As a marque club, STOA decided to develop a program to authenticate original factory built Tigers.
Q: But isn't a Tiger just a factory converted Alpine?
A: Because Tiger and Alpine body shells are so similar from the exterior, it has been commonly believed that all Tigers are simply "factory converted Alpines". In fact, STOA has discovered that every production line Tiger was destined right from the release of the initial body shell "build" documents at British Pressed Steel (where Tiger and Alpine body shells were both produced) to be constructed as a Tiger.
Q: What are the differences between Tiger and Alpine body shells?
A: Tiger structural elements as assembled by the factory are uniquely different from those of the Alpine. Among other things, this is what TAC looks for when attempting to authenticate a Tiger.
Q: Why doesn't STOA publish a list of these differences?
A: STOA has no interest in aiding those individuals who do not share our belief regarding the importance of originality, and who might attempt to create a conversion using our findings.
Q: I'm interested in having my car inspected by TAC. What do I do?
A: If you live near the San Francisco Bay or Seattle areas, we have regularly scheduled TAC events throughout the year. STOA has also arranged for TAC at many major Tiger events, and by special request. In any event, contact the TAC chairman to find out what's available in your area.
Q: What is the cost?
A: There is a nominal charge to cover the cost of documentation.
Q: What is the procedure?
A: You must fill out a release of liability and fact sheet prior to the inspection. After receipt of this form, three TAC inspectors must physically examine your Tiger body shell, and individually come to a conclusion as to it's authenticity. If all three inspectors agree that your body shell is authentic, a TAC sticker will be applied to an area underneath the dash (near the wiper motor), and a Certificate of Authenticity will be provided. Your Tiger will then be added to the STOA TAC Database.
Q: What is a Senior Inspector, and why is one required?
A: Senior Inspectors are chosen from among those with expert Tiger skills, experience, and a proven commitment to the TAC program. They are privy to all information developed by TAC; therefore procedure requires that at least one Senior Inspector be involved in every authentication.
Q: What if my car cannot be authenticated?
A: If one or more of the inspectors cannot verify that your body shell is authentic, your fact sheet and any fees collected will be returned to you, along with a general description of why your car cannot be authenticated. The release of liability is retained by STOA, but your information is not added to the STOA TAC database.
Q: Does that mean that my Tiger is not authentic?
A: Not necessarily. There may be an occasional situation where there is not enough evidence of factory methodology remaining on your body shell to meet TAC inspection criteria. In any case where STOA cannot readily verify authenticity, the inspection process is simply terminated.
Q: What is the STOA TAC Database, and what is it intended for?
A: The STOA TAC Database is a list of Tigers who have been authenticated by TAC. Vehicles which can not be authenticated for any reason are not added to the database. It is intended as an aid to prospective buyers who wish assurance that their Tiger body shell is original as produced by the factory. Requests for information from this database may be directed to the TAC Chairman.
Q: My car is highly modified and not "original" or "stock". Can it be authenticated?
A: Absolutely. Many highly modified Tiger's have been authenticated.
Q: My car is missing the ID elements. Can it be authenticated?
A: Yes. Missing ID tags (VIN or JAL) have no bearing on the authentication process. For TAC records, the condition of these elements is noted, but a genuine Tiger body shell can be authenticated even if all ID elements are absent.
Q: I want to have my car inspected, but there are no inspectors in my area. What can I do?
A: STOA is expanding the TAC program outside of the San Francisco Bay area into areas throughout the United States. Currently, STOA has Senior Inspectors in over 6 major metropolitan areas, and several who are willing to travel if there are enough cars to warrant. At least one Senior Inspector (and two regular inspectors) must inspect every car presented for authentication. TAC inspectors are not funded by STOA, so their travel to other areas is mostly voluntary and usually paid for by the individuals having their cars inspected. If you are part of such a group and are interested in TAC inspector training or authentication, please contact the TAC Chairman.
Q: Is there a list of the Senor Inspectors so I can see if there is one in my area?